The Bears will be without one of their veteran defensive linemen for the first three weeks of the season.
The NFL has announced that Jeremiah Ratliff will serve a three-week suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension is a result of Ratliff’s DUI arrest in January, 2013 when he was a member of the Cowboys.
Ratliff will miss the team’s games against the Packers, Cardinals and Seahawks before becoming eligible to return for their October 4 home date against the Raiders. He will be allowed to play in preseason games and practice with the team until the start of the regular season, but will only be permitted to attend team meetings once the suspension goes into effect.
The loss of Ratliff will leave the Bears thin up front on defense as he was slated to see significant time in the middle of the line. Second-round pick Eddie Goldman will likely be asked to do more while Ratliff is out of the lineup and there wasn’t much experienced depth for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to work with even with Ratliff in the mix.